Book Review and Film Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
by Cassandra Clare
Publisher - Walker Books
Release Date - July 2nd 2007
Purchase - Amazon | The Book Depository 

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

For me this was a highly risky book for me to read for two reasons... Firstly, I didn't want to ruin the characters I have read and loved in The Infernal Devices and Secondly this is still highly popular book because of the film. At first I was seeking the relationships between the characters between TID books and TMI but it was no use and I needed to see it from a fresh perspective and that is it what I did.

Cassandra Clare previous books have been amazing especially the likes of Will Herondale, Jem, Tessa Gray and even Magnus Bane. What I thoroughly enjoyed was how the 21st Century was weaved into such a timely series such as this. First we meet Clary, a 16-year old girl who is completely oblivious to the world beyond her own until she was faced with foreign symbols and invisible people. When she goes to the Pandemonium a NY club, she is pulled by this guy and urged forward to know what he is about, until she witness a killing only she can see. With a mysterious blonde guy with tattoos and her mum missing, she is helpless to join these people to find some answers. Clary could be annoying sometimes and a little selfish but once she settles in into her own real world she becomes almost part of Shadowhunter world. Aside from the this I thought that the descriptive nature of the Institute and City of Bones was quite astonishing. I mean the some of the characters and eerie places really sends a shiver down your spine. Cassandra Clare brings a world of imagination into the 21st Century.

Now like all fangirls of this series, you will find only one word in their vocabulary... Jace. I mean I was very torn about it because I was very much in favour of Will Herondale in The Infernal Devices, but I am no longer. Jace has stolen my heart irrevocably. His sarcasm, humour, and the occasional stints of hate towards to each other is play on his character and one that admired greatly. Its obvious that Clary makes him feel something, makes him believe in anything other than himself. Its self-preservation with Jace, he will only acknowledge the things he has been trained and taught to do and occasionally runs at full strength into danger when it calls for it. To be honest you have probably heard every appraisal under the sun from the likes of him...

What I also appreciated was the lack of secondary characters, there wasn't too many but just enough to keep you interested. I mean for me the only one that I slightly got a bit annoyed of was Simon, he is sweet, cute and obviously Clary's best friend but to be honest he got in the way of Jace's and Clary's true purpose and of course their relationship... am I babbling here? I do apologise.  One of my favourite secondary characters has to be Magnus. His personality, humour, superiority over everyone was quite funny and I think his presence alone in the novel brings it to life a lot more.

The characters aside I think this has become a guilty pleasure for me and I can't wait finish the series....The Mortal Instruments is a phenomenal series and one that will be timeless adventure to the hearts of avid readers.

Rating: 4.5

The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones
Written by - Sony Universal Pictures
Director - Harald Zwart
Cast -  Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan
Release - 27 August 2013

Usually I don't do film reviews, actually scrap that, I've never done one, but as I saw the film last week, finished the book that day and its the first YA movie that I've seen at the cinema in such a long time, I thought it would be great to do one.... annnnnnd I have to fangirl about Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace. *sighs* I really don't sound like an adult here do I. Haha!

Spoilers ahead if you haven't read or seen the film!

Like all movies with books, you always, ALWAYS, have to read the book before you see it at the pictures and I'm so glad I did. For one its my new favourite series and two I loved the film as it was just like the book minus a couple of things. They can never be accurate and even now when I'm reading City of Ashes, I know they added a few things so they can move on and grip the audience with anticipation further. The Downworlders were even scarier than I imagined and did I jump at the Silent Brothers they really do send a shiver down your spine; the stitched mouths, cold, blank eyes and an eerie voice in your head. In point of fact the plotline for me actually cleared some unanswered questions that I had with the book, like how did Jocelyn go into a sleepless coma etc and vice versa with the film... like the bites on the neck of Simon.... ect... I wouldn't want to spoil the whole thing for you...

Lily Collins as Clary was a brilliant choice again, at times I was a little frustrated with her character, but other than that I thought her acting was spot on for Clary's persona. What I love about her in both the book and the film was her artistic nature especially one of Jace with wings, that was beautiful (even though she probably didn't draw that in the film, but I still admired it). After all she is the most powerful Shadowhunter they have to come to pass in a while.

The secondary characters like Alec, Isabelle, Simon, Luke and of course Magus were just brilliant, though I wish Magnus was in it a little more, I wanted to know more about his character and his status of High Warlock of Brooklyn. Finally, I also thought that Luke was much more likable in the film than the book with his persona, he so suited change of a werewolf.

Now onto to more pressing business... Jamie aka Jace, wow did I fall him love with him instantly. He made me laugh out loud so much and it wasn't a very busy cinema so that was a little embarrassing. I think the Director, Harold Zwart really captured the characters perfectly especially as Cassandra Clare was in on the screenplay, of course. Oh the greenhouse scene was beautiful... though he did irritate (even in the book) when he just completely dismisses it when Simon comes around... Grrr. But there is an obvious event in this series, that absolutely crushes your heart if you know which I mean *wink wink* but in the film I felt so content and at peace with the ending that its now my new favourite film of the year so far. I have to wait until the beginning of 2014 to buy the DVD.

Rating - 5 (Is it bad to rate the film better than the book) Each way I love it all the same.


  1. Now you totally made me want to watch the film, Emma! Brilliant reviews :)

  2. Thanks for this excellent comparison review! I actually found Jace to be a little TOO bit cocky-confident for my liking, but I'll have to see how that translates on the big screen. Glad you enjoyed both!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  3. I'm glad that the you ended up enjoying the film more than the book Emma, I know it can be highly frustrating when a film doesn't live you to your expectations. And I always too try to read a book before I watch the film, as I know if I do it the other way around I can never get back to the books! Great reviews Emma!

  4. I totally understand what you mean about Simon! I felt similarly about him, but I did eventually appreciate his role in the story as the series went on. It's interesting how you've ended up reading this after TID. It's usually the other way around for most people, and I' wonder if I'd react any different to this series if I had read Clockwork Angel first. Hmm. :) Great review! And I'm glad that you liked the movie. I'm finally seeing it tomorrow.

  5. I read this series a while ago and I loved it (the first 3 books). I'm so happy to hear the film lives up to expectations because so many times they do not. Great reviews, Emma! :)

  6. It doesn't happen often that the movie is actually better than the book but that happened here. I mean I really wasn't a fan of the book. I love TID and this book simply didn't do it for me. I guess I had high expectations, while for the movie I lowered them and that changed my views. Great reviews Emma :)

  7. There has been a lot of hype about this book/movie! I'm glad you liked them! I haven't read or seen the movie/book yet but I'm hoping it will go up my TBR pile fast!

    -- Erika

  8. I really enjoyed the film as well and I'm gutted that they have put filming City of Ashes on hold! I got to meet the cast the week of the movie release and they were all so down to earth and lovely. Loved your reviews, Emma!

    1. They have delayed City of Ashes filming?!!! Why!... I'm now super gutted as well. I only just searched it a few day ago and got really excited. *sighs* I'm very jealous you got to see the cast... Thanks Jess.

  9. This was one of the first YA series I read and it's still my favorite. Who read this book and didn't swoon over Jace? NO ONE!!! Though I was a little skeptical about Jamie's casting, I never saw him as Jace, but I'm so glad to see that you loved his portrayal of Jace and overall enjoyed this movie. I'm definitely going to buy it's DVD when it's out. Great reviews, Emma! :)

  10. City of Bones is one of my all time favourite books which is why I haven't seen the film yet and I'm kind of afraid too! I've seen some very mixed reviews of it and I don't want it to be bad D: After seeing your review though my faith has been restored :DDD Two great reviews!

    Laura @ What's Hot?


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